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Idaho Falls man will stand trial for felony rape charge

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS – A man facing a felony charge of rape of a person under 16 was recently arraigned in District Court.

Taylor Joseph Blair McKelvey, 20, appeared before District Judge Jon Shindurling on April 26, where he pleaded not guilty. His arraignment was originally set for March 29, but he did not show up, according to court records.

McKelvey’s charges date back to June of last year. Police report McKelvey, who was 19 at the time, had sex with a 15-year-old girl.

McKelvey and the victim first met in November or December 2020 when she was 14. The victim’s guardian met with McKelvey at her home in Rexburg before anything happened. Her guardian told police McKelvey was aware of the victim’s age.

An officer met with McKelvey several months later in Idaho Falls. Police say he denied knowing the victim or having sex with her and claimed to not know any girl in the Rexburg area. He consented to a DNA test.

The victim’s guardian then called the officer, reporting that McKelvey had called the guardian to say he had spoken with police, which alerted investigators McKelvey had lied. Officers failed to reach McKelvey after calling him multiple times, according to court records. Police eventually found McKelvey after tracking down an address for him in Idaho Falls. The officer said he knew McKelvey was lying, but Mckelvey “acted confused” and denied knowing the victim.

“Taylor eventually asked if we could talk further away from the home. We stepped away and he began to admit about his relationship with (the victim). He advised that she had given him oral sex in exchange for drugs he would provide her,” the officer wrote in his report.

Court records indicate McKelvey was evasive to the officer’s questions. He was “evasive” and his answers “kept changing,” according to police.

“Taylor also could not give me a clear timeline on when he met (the victim) or when he had spoken with (her guardian),” the officer wrote.

The victim, who was staying at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, later told an employee she’d had multiple sexual encounters with McKelvey in Idaho Falls and Rexburg. She was given a sexual assault exam, which was submitted as evidence.

McKelvey was booked in the Bonneville County Jail and released after posting a $10,000 bond in January. Under Idaho law, rape is punishable by at least one year in prison. A pre-trial conference is set for June 13. McKelvey’s trial is scheduled for July 5.

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